Burn The Wagon: Call For Submissions

           La casaBurn the Wagon Chapbook Series

Our city’s official logo proudly proclaims El Monte’s place at the “end of the Santa Fe Trail.” The white covered wagon at the center of the logo places white Americans as El Monte’s “pioneers.” Indigenous people that occupied these lands before and the Mexican, Latino, and Asian American migrants that arrived after are erased from El Monte’s logo and official historical narrative. Our cities museum and monuments affirm this hegemonic, racist, and outdated narrative. This history is completely irrelevant to Monte’s multiethnic present, and most importantly, to its future. We need to incinerate this white pioneer narrative and give life to one that is inclusive of all Monteros.

In 2012, the year of El Monte Centennial Celebration, SEMAP worked with the Mexico-city based archive and cultural center, La Casa de El Hijo del Ahuizote to create a new narratives of El Monte and South El Monte and to re-think how we build an archive and share historical knowledge. Since then we’ve interviewed our elders, digitized punk fliers, photographs, and archival documents related to our lost/white-washed murals from the 1960s/70s. We have also written more than thirty essays, which includes topics such as Toypurina and the Tongva, Anarchism in El Monte, the 1933 Berry Strike, Japanese internment, Legion Stadium, and Brown Beret and activist Gloria Arellanes. In addition, we’ve hosted talks, workshops, and lectures at local libraries, high schools, senior centers, and parks. Lastly, we’ve built a digital archive to make this knowledge accessible.


Print by Daniel Gonzalez

As our country turns to fascism, it is more important than ever to produce narratives and knowledge that honor our multiethnic past, that describe the challenges, struggles, and injustices that we’ve experienced, and that help us imagine and prepare for the future. It is in this spirit that we are collaborating with La Casa del Hijo del Ahuizote to produce the inter-disciplinary chapbook series “Burn the Wagon.” We hope you will join us.


Format/style is open and can include:


-short stories

-manual/guide to resist deportation and eviction




Submissions are due July 1. Email all submissions to semartsposse@gmail.com as a word document. Include your name and contact info.

Print at La Casa: July 10th

Chapbook Release/Party early August

Payment: This is a self-funded and grassroots publishing effort, but we are happy to provide authors with copies.

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10911 Michael Hunt Drive

We continue publishing essays for our new reader. Read the latest at Tropics of Meta and KCET Departures Column “East of East”

Tropics of Meta

Plummer baptism

After my home, Epiphany is the place that looms largest in my South El Monte life. It was where I attended elementary school, walking home with my sisters after school in our saddle shoes and plaid jumpers, me carrying my backpack over just one shoulder so as not to look like a nerd. It was the church where we went to Mass every Sunday and where I received my first Holy Communion and my first Reconciliation in a tiny room with shaggy carpet on the walls.  It was where I went to Confirmation classes for two years during my freshman and sophomore years, before being confirmed by Cardinal Roger Mahoney and choosing an obscure saint’s name because I needed to be different from all the Agnes’s and Bernadette’s. (Go, Lutgardis!) It was where I was baptized as an infant, where I went to a funeral and saw my first dead body. It…

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LA City Resident We Need Your Help

East of East: Mapping Community Narratives in South El Monte and El Monte is funded by Los Angeles City department of Cultural Affairs. We need to demonstrate that 50 residents from LA City benefited from our project. While all of our four events were well attended (we had a total of 300), our sign in sheets do not account for 50 La City residents.

In order to fulfill that requirement, we are asking friends of SEMAP who attended an event, read one of our essays for the reader, bought (and or displayed) print made for the project, to comment on Tropics of Meta, where we are housing our reader.


All we need is for the comment to include 1) your name 2) neighborhood or zip code

OR, you can simply comment here.
many thanks.

East of East Closing Event: A New Archive in the City


South El Monte Arts Posse and Casa de El Hijo del Ahuizote will present our archive “East of East Mapping Community Narratives in South El Monte and El Monte.” We’ll share our approach to the archive, our process of generating primary sources with community, and, of course, some of the awesome material that we’ve gathered. Most important, we want to discuss the future and uses of the archive with community. Please Join Us in brainstorming the future by examining our present and past. Open to the Public, free food.

Feb 8th, Saturday

Grace Black Auditorium, 3130 Tyler Avenue, El Monte


4:00 to 4:30pm-Music

-Get down with the Hashishans Reggae as they cover songs from the days of Legion Stadium.

4:30 to 5:00pm, Interactive Activities: Art, Music, Urban Planning
Daniel Gonzalez will display his prints, including print of Toypurina made specifically for this project
Álvaro Daniel Márquez will showcase his Ricardo Flores Magon Speech of 1917 and Berry Strike of 1933 linocuts.
-Build your childhood memories with urban planner James Rojas

5:00-6:00pm, Presentation of Archive and Discussion
Diego, Froylan, Jennifer, Carribean, and Romeo will present their process and work and share material from “East of East: Mapping Community Archives in South El Monte and South El Monte”

6:00-7:00pm, Community Discussion and Input

*Food and Refreshments will be provided.

Remembering Legion Stadium: A Public Platica


You are invited to learn about and share your memories of Legion Stadium, the “birthplace of west coast R&B and rock and roll.”

Release of original interview with Art Laboe, conducted by South El Monte Arts Posse for East of East: Mapping Community Narratives in South El Monte and El Monte.

Moderated by USC Professor and Music Critic Josh Kun

Friday, January 31st

12:00 to 2:45, Oral History Walk-Ins and Photo Digitalization. Help us build an archive by bringing in photos from Legion Stadium.

3:00 to 4:00, Public Discussion

Rio Hondo College, El Monte Educational Center, 3017 Tyler

Community Conference: Towards a New History & Archive (January 25th)

El Monte Berry Strike. Linocut by Álvaro Daniel Márquez .

El Monte Berry Strike. Linocut by Álvaro Daniel Márquez .

Join South El Monte Arts Posse and Casa de El Hijo del Ahuizote for public presentations and discussions on the history of activism, organizing, and social movements in El Monte. Come listen and speak with Diego Flores Magón, Professor Devra Weber, Professor and Performer Rubén Martínez, artists Alvaro Daniel Marquez and doctoral candidate Elias Serna.

Community members are also invited to help us build an archive of South EL Monte and El Monte by bringing family photos for digitalization, participating in creative writing and oral histories.

Saturday, January 25th, 3:00 to 7:00,

South El Monte High School, 1001 N. Durfee Ave.

Introduction: 3:00 to 3:30

            Diego Flores Magón, Director and Founder La Casa

Workshops, Presentations and Discussions

Session A: 3:45 to 4:30

-Chancla Cartography, creative writing for archive with Carribean Fragoza, SEMAP Co-director

-History and state of Chicano/a Studies, Elias Serna, Doctoral Candidate University of California Riverside and Co-Founder of Chicano Secret Service       

-Oral History, Walk-ins.

-Photo Digitalization, residents’ photographs

Session B: 4:45 to 5:30

– El Monte roots: from Revolution to the El Monte berry strike of 1933, Devra Weber, History Professor at University of California, Riverside

-History and state of Chicano/a Studies, Elias Serna, Doctoral Candidate UCR and Co-Founder of Chicano Secret Service

 -Art, History and Memory, Alvaro Marquez, Printmaker

-Photo Digitalization, residents’ photographs

Session C: 5:45 to 6:15

– El Monte roots: from Revolution to the El Monte berry strike of 1933, Devra Weber, History Professor at University of California, Riverside

-Art, History and Memory, Alvaro Marquez, Printmaker

 -Chancla Cartography, creative writing for archive with Carribean Fragoza, SEMAP Co-director

 -Daredevils, Dreamer, and Visionaries, Songs about the San Gabriel Valley, Kent Besoki

6:15 to 6:30, Break and Snacks

 6:30 to 7:00

Musical Performance,

 -Excerpts from The Ballad of Ricardo Flores Magón, a spoken word and musical performance. Ballad focuses on RFM’s time in Los Angeles, exploring the radical geography of the early 1900s. Rubén Martínez is an author, teacher and performer